United States Marine Corps History Division

United States Marine Corps History Division
United States Marine Corps History Division
Old EGA.png
The progenitor to the modern Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, this insignia was first used by Marines in 1804.[1] Seen today on uniform buttons, it also serves as the History Division's unofficial logo.
Active September 8, 1919
Country United States
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type historical
HQ Marine Corps Base Quantico
Director Dr. Charles Patrick Neimeyer[2]

The United States Marine Corps History Division is a branch of Headquarters Marine Corps tasked with researching, writing, and maintaining the History of the United States Marine Corps. It also provides reference and research assistance; preserves personal experiences and observations through oral history interviews; and deploys field historians to record history in the making. It is headquardered at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.



The History Division was formed on 8 September 1919, by Order Number 53 of Commandant of the Marine Corps George Barnett as the Historical Section of the Department of the Adjutant and Inspector.[3] After World War II, the organization was known as "Marine Corps History and Museums Division" until the current name was instituted in the early 2000s.


The United States Marine Corps History Division is a staff organization with the primary task of researching and writing the Marine Corps’ official history. The unit is not a division-sized military formation.[4] It is organized into four branches:[5]

  • The Historical Branch prepares a wide variety of official publications that tell the Marine Corps story as accurately and comprehensively as possible. Publications include: articles, monographs, occasional papers, and definitive histories. The Branch also includes the Oral History Program, which obtains, catalogs, transcribes, and preserves personal narrative, experiences and observations of historic value from active duty and retired Marines for use as reference source material.
  • The Historical Reference Branch provides historical research and reference services and historical analysis. In addition, the Branch supports specific programs: Unit Lineage and Honors, Commemorative Naming, Marine Corps Flag Manual, and Marine Corps Chronology.
  • The Field History Branch deploys Individual Mobilization Augmentee detachment historians to collect historically relevant material (oral history, written/electronic plans, operation orders, maps, overlays and artifacts) for use as reference material. The Branch also consists of a Mobilization Training Unit whose members support the History Division with specific projects.
  • The Editing and Design branch designs and lays out manuscripts, maps and other graphic materials to support the History Division’s publications.


Since its inception, the following individuals have served as director:[3]

# Rank Name Tenure began Tenure ended
1 4Major McClellanEdwin N. McClellan 01919-09-088 September 1919 01925-05-3131 May 1925
2 4Major SturdevantEdward W. Sturdevant 01925-06-011 June 1925 01928-08-1515 August 1928
3.03 3Captain BurnhamLucian W. Burnham 01928-08-1616 August 1928 01929-07-3131 July 1929
3.5acting 0Mr. JenkinsJames C. Jenkins 01926-08-011 August 1926 01929-09-2626 September 1929
4 3Captain PlattJonas H. Platt 01929-09-2727 September 1929 01930-06-1919 June 1930
5 4Major McClellanEdwin N. McClellan 01930-06-2020 June 1930 01933-03-022 March 1933
6 3Captain EllsworthHarry A. Ellsworth 01933-03-033 March 1933 01934-08-3030 August 1934
7 4Major DeCarreAlphonse DeCarre 01934-08-3131 August 1934 01935-02-055 February 1935
8.08 5Lieutenant colonel MetcalfClyde H. Metcalf 01935-02-066 February 1935 01938-12-3131 December 1938
8.1acting 0Mr. JenkinsJames C. Jenkins 01939-01-011 January 1939 01942-10-044 October 1942
8.28 6Colonel MetcalfClyde H. Metcalf 01942-10-055 October 1942 01944-04-1515 April 1944
8.3acting 3Captain CarletonPhilips D. Carleton 01944-04-1616 April 1944 01944-05-022 May 1944
9 6Colonel PottsJohn Potts 01944-05-033 May 1944 01946-01-022 January 1946
10 6Colonel KenyonHoward N. Kenyon 01946-01-033 January 1946 01946-10-1515 October 1946
11 5Lieutenant colonel MurrayEllsworth N. Murray 01946-10-1616 October 1946 01946-12-2020 December 1946
12 5Lieutenant colonel HeinlRobert D. Heinl Jr. 01946-12-2121 December 1946 01949-06-1212 June 1949
13 5Lieutenant colonel GayleGordon D. Gayle 01949-06-1313 June 1949 01951-08-1313 August 1951
14 5Lieutenant colonel HoughFrancis O. Hough 01951-08-1414 August 1951 01952-06-088 June 1952
15 5Lieutenant colonel EdwardsHarry W. Edwards 01952-06-099 June 1952 01955-07-1717 July 1955
16 6Colonel HarrisonCharles W. Harrison 01955-07-1818 July 1955 01959-07-2424 July 1959
17 4Major KuokkaHubard D. Kuokka 01959-07-2525 July 1959 01959-08-1717 August 1959
18 4Major FinkGerald Fink 01959-08-1818 August 1959 01960-01-077 January 1960
19 6Colonel MillerWilliam M. Miller 01960-01-088 January 1960 01961-07-3131 July 1961
20.020 6Colonel RoeThomas G. Roe 01961-08-011 August 1961 01962-06-3030 June 1962
20.1acting 4Major JohnstoneJohn H. Johnstone 01962-07-011 July 1962 01962-11-088 November 1962
21 6Colonel WagnerJoseph F. Wagner Jr. 01962-11-099 November 1962 01963-08-3131 August 1963
22 5Lieutenant colonel ScheningRichard J. Schening 01963-09-011 September 1963 01963-11-1414 November 1963
23 6Colonel CaldwellFrank C. Caldwell 01963-11-1515 November 1963 01970-11-3030 November 1970
24.024 7Brigadier general SimmonsEdwin H. Simmons 01971-12-011 December 1971 01978-07-011 July 1978
24.124 7Brigadier general (ret.) SimmonsEdwin H. Simmons 01978-10-2121 October 1978 01996-01-033 January 1996
25 6Colonel MoniganMichael F. Monigan 01996-01-044 January 1996 01999-07-1111 July 1999
26.026 6Colonel (ret.) RipleyJohn W. Ripley 01999-07-1212 July 1999 02005-08-3131 August 2005
26.1acting 0Mr. MelsonCharles D. Melson 02005-09-011 September 2005 02006-01-088 January 2006
26.2acting 6Colonel (ret.) CampRichard D. Camp Jr. 02006-01-099 January 2006 02006-12-1010 December 2006
27 0Dr. NeimeyerCharles P. Neimeyer 02006-12-1111 December 2006 incumbent


The History Division maintains several publications, including the quarterly newsletter Fortitudine (ISBN 0-16-010404-1), which was a traditional motto of the Corps before semper fidelis was adapted in 1883. They also maintain an archive of all historical publications published since its founding.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. ^ Smith, Charles Richard; Charles H. Waterhouse (1975) (PDF). A Pictoral History: the Marines in the Revolution. United States Marine Corps Historical Division. http://www.marines.mil/news/publications/Documents/A%20Pictorial%20History-The%20Marines%20in%20the%20Revolution%20PCN%2019000317900.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  2. ^ "Staff Directorate". Marine Corps History Division. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Contents/Oganization/Staff.htm. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Amerman, Annette D. (4th quarter 2009). "Celebrating 90 Years of Collecting, Preserving, and Promoting of Marine Corps History". Fortitudine (Quantico, VA: United States Marine Corps Historical Program) 34 (4): pp. 1925. ISBN 0-16-010404-1. http://bookstore.gpo.gov/actions/GetPublication.do?stocknumber=708-084-00000-0. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  4. ^ "Organization and Personnel - History Division". Marine Corps History Division. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Contents/Organization.htm. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Mission Statement". Marine Corps History Division. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Contents/Mission.htm. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 

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